夏目友人帳 - Natsume’s Book of Friends: Chapter 2 Discussion

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夏目友人帳 Chapter 2

Start Date: October 27th
Previous Chapter: Chapter 1
Next Chapter: Chapter 3

Vocabulary List

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And as a reminder, based on this poll’s results we’ll be spending two weeks on Chapter 2 :slightly_smiling_face:


FINALLY just finished chapter 1. Now that I’m back on track, chapter 2 should be a breeze.

I’m enjoying the book so far, the kanji and vocab is really easy since I started learning kanji a bit out of WK order. Grammar can get a little confusing at times, but based on what’s going on in it’s pretty easy to figure out. everyone in the ch 1 thread was also super helpful with the more confusing sentences. you guys are great

Btw, Ch 1 100% matches up to the first episode of the anime if anyone cares to watch along for better understanding. Hopefully it’ll be the same or pretty close for future chapters, too!


There’s no way I’m going to keep up with the pace if I try to understand every sentence in detail, so I think for this one I’ll just pick one or two sentences to really detail and go with general understanding of the rest… I’m still not done learning the vocab for chapter 1, plus trying to pre-learn the vocab for Girl who leapt… I would need 40h days lol!

On another note, I just finished season 6 and find myself in Natsume withdrawal… Anyone knows where I can watch the movie online?

The movie is still in theaters here in Japan so it won’t be online for quite some time still probably. But we can suffer together because I’ve been in withdrawal ever since season six ended as short as it did ;;;;;;

Also I’m still mega behind. TBH I may just skip to chapter 2 and return to chapter 1 another time or I don’t think I’ll be able to catch up at any point… I got swamped with work last week. But I know the series pretty well so I at least won’t be confused as to what’s going on

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I started chapter 2. It has a nice summary/recap…yay for repeated vocab! Also, I started putting stick book tabs every 5 pages which helps SO MUCH in keeping track of where I am.

Does anyone know if "くださいまし” is either archaic speak, polite speech, or some sort of verbal tick? On page 61, the yokai is definitely speaking politely when he says ”ご免くださいまし。どうか名をお返しくださいまし” but neither google nor my copy of a dictionary of basic japanese grammar shows anything.

Also not a question but the kanji for nyanko-sensei’s name is revealed to be 斑 (まだら) which apparently means…spot?! I’m dying.

夏目友人帳 is a good one for this club, I think, because overall it’s pretty episodic. Skipping a chapter isn’t quite as confusing as some other series.


Seems like くださいまし is the same as (or very similar to) くださいませ as far as being even more polite than just ください.

Possibly useful information:

Also, a question and answer about ませ versus まし:


Thanks! The jpod link was helpful (will parse the other one when I have access to a dictionary). I never realized ませ was imply the imperitive of ます. I’ve really only heard it as set phrases. Interesting! It definitely looks like まし is keigo.

Finally sitting down with some time to write a few questions! As I said, I decided to chose one sentence per page (the one I least understood!) and to go with general understanding for the rest. Currently on page 63, and eternally grateful to all the people updating the vocab sheet, as there’s no way I would have time to decipher the book AND look up every other word… Thank you thank you thank you! I’ve updated it as much as I could while writting this post :slight_smile:
So, here goes:

First, I’m confused why some furigana don’t match the kanjis (or at least any readings I know)… Is it a common occurence? For instance on page 59, when Nyanko says あれは低級妖怪が扱えるものではない:

低級妖怪 is read おまえなど, and while I understand what the author is trying to do, if there were no furiganas I would have read this asていきゅうようかい, which also makes sense… How are we supposed to know when the reading of the kanjis is impossible to predict?

On page 60, lower panel:


I think I understand the gist of this sentence, but not super clear on how it works grammatically…

名を: names
よばれれば:if called
けして: never
さからえぬ: has gone against
契約書: written contract
たば: bundle

Something like: If their names were called, they could never had gone against the bundle of written contracts: the book of friends? Not sure I’m getting this right if anybody cares to correct me :slight_smile:

Page 61: those first two sentences top right, while I get the general meaning, are a complete mess for me… Anybody else struggling with those?

Mid panel on the left:


I’m also not sure of this…

どこでききつけるのか: something about youkai hearing the rumour anywhere?
放めんを求め訪ねてくる者も増えはじめ: the visits of youkkai demanding to be set free begin to increase?
徐々にではあるけれど名を返す日々かつづいている。: little by little the returning of names became a daily non-stop occurence (that’s really my broad understanding…)

Page 62 mid panel:


I think I understand the first part (“You’re a boring guy, the book of friends is steadily becoming thinner") though I’m not sure what ガンガン means in this case… Second part I think I understand as well as meaning "I should use this chance to eat you”, but I don’t get the detail of it, and I know this kanji: 食 is not the one used in the book, but I couldn’t find it (the one on the book has a small mouth radical to the left of it).
My best guess:

いつそのこと: preferably
隙を: his weak spot
ついて: concerning
こんなガキ: such brat
食っちまおうかな: ??? (I assume it means something around eating?)

Page 63 first panel, Touko-san is speaking:


Just making sure I’m getting this right. Couldn’t find any relevant meaning for ばんばん other than “at a fast pace”… I think the first part means "we’re (very?) spoiled (I’m guessing she means “lucky”?). Second part: "the addition to our family is a blessing". Unless it’s all one sentence that means "Aren’t we spoiled, our family is increasing at such mad pace, what a blessing!" (I’m being super liberal here :slight_smile: )

Phew! Sorry for the huge post, but again I can only sit down once in a blue moon to write questions… Where are you guys at? How behind am I ? Not much if I base myself on the Google doc… :slight_smile:

Ps: wasn’t sure if I should blur the Japanese sentences too? I figured those able to read those at a glance would be way ahead of me lol!

Yes, it is! It is used for style.
Basically, the idea is that the kanji is what is said out loud, and the furigana is what the speaker implies.

About さからえぬ, it comes from 逆らう to go against, in the potential form 逆らえる can go against, with the archaic negative 逆らえぬ cannot go against.

About the grammar, my first instinct would be to say that there should be a comma (or something) between たば and 友人帳, but in any case I think your translation should go the other way around:

The book of Friends, the bundle of contract that cannot be opposed if the name [of the contractor] is called

Due to time constraints, I have to stop here :sweat_smile:


That’s already great, thanks! I had looked up the ぬ form but since I’m unclear on which is the incomplete form of the verb and which is the stem, and had missed the potential form entirely, that wasn’t helpful :slight_smile: Also, I cannot get used to the Japanese double negative (can never not go against) as for me it becomes a positive lol!

Hello! I’m at roughly the same place you are in the chapter, by the looks of it.
Did you still want to discuss the top of p61?

I think ばんばん in this sentence might be a form of 万々(まんまん) meaning “very much; fully”
So Natsume’s new “mother” asks him if he’s getting used to his new school, and when he says yes, she comments that they are also very fond of him, and that she is happy that their family has grown.

I think you’re right for the first part. Nyanko-sensei wants to get his paws on the book while it still contains a reasonable number of “friends” he can potentially control, so he’s annoyed with Natsume for giving back so many names. I think ガンガン is referring to the speed at which it’s happening i.e. fast
In the second part, I think he is saying Preferably I should take this opportunity to finish this brat off(while he’s sleeping)
喰っちまおう =喰ってしまおう
ie 喰う+しまう (in volitional form of verb)
My guess is that because it’s not the usual kanji for eating, it probably means something less literal.

Sorry for answering your questions in the wrong order!

If it helps, it’s not a double negative. 決して is more like a “certainly” that’s (usually) used in negative sentences. It doesn’t fill the grammatical role that ‘never’ does in English. It just emphasizes your point.
That is to say, you couldn’t say 決して逆らえる and have it mean “can never go against.” The existence of けして can’t make a positive sentence negative.
逆らえない = can not go against
けして逆らえない = Absolutely can not go against = can never go against.


Thank you for answering my questions in any order! This is helpful, thanks a lot!

Yes, I’m totally down to discuss p61, but won’t be able to sit down for proper posting until tomorrow French time… So feel free to start without me :slight_smile:

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Thank you, that is very helpful! 決して was translated as negatives in all the dictionnaires I looked, so the nuance really helps me understand…
I haven’t spent enough time the concepts of positive and negative in Japanese, how the whole sentence turns one or the other… It’s on my to do list!

I would have waited until you are up, but I am going out later to see a Japanese movie (not something I get to do often, but there is a Japanese film festival on here this week).

So, my thoughts on p61.
Background from previous page: acquiring the Book of Friends would enable power over many youkai.
おかげで Because of that
友人帳を狙ってくる輩もいて there are also those who come after the Book of Friends (i.e. with the aim of taking that power for themselves)
(ニャンコ先生もその一匹)(Nyanko-sensei being one of them)

不本意ながらも 多くの名を預かる身として As the person entrusted with the care of many beings, albeit reluctantly (ie it wasn’t my intention to take on this responsibility)
帳を守る責任もあり、I also have a responsibility to protect the book, and
煩わしいことこの上ない。it is the most troublesome thing. (There is nothing that could be more troublesome.) Or as I’d prefer to translate it: It’s a right royal pain in the butt. :grin:

I think you pretty much have this, but I’ll put my translation up so you can compare if you want to.
どこでききつけるのか: I wonder where they hear about it
放めんを求め訪ねてくる者も増えはじめ: The (number of) youkai coming to visit and request their freedom is starting to increase, and
徐々にではあるけれど名を返す日々かつづいている。: although it’s gradual, days when I return a name are a regular occurrence.

I hope that helps. :grinning:

I would translate this as “Please lean on us whenever you need to (at a fast pace, so every time → As in: it will never be too often). I’m happy that our family has grown.”

I hope it helps :slight_smile:

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Aaaah, I didn’t think of the “to depend on” meaning of 甘えて… That makes more sense than what I came up with! Thank you!!!

So sorry, life took over and I had to drop the Japanese ball for a while (and won’t be able to truly pick it up until Thursday, so this time I’m really getting behind lol!)
This is super helpful in clarifying the different clauses for me, especially for the second sentence.
At first I was confused by その一匹, like the actual use of the animal counter to say “one of them”…
I also get confused by the omitted subject, like in どこでききつけるのか: I wonder where they hear about it, where I didn’t understand it was a question Natsume was asking himself (hence the “I wonder” in your translation… Also not yet used to figuring out where a clause ends, and what modifying words refer to in the previous part of the sentence… Oh well! Getting there just by trying and with all of you guys’s help :slight_smile:

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